Wednesday, March 6, 2013

The Polycarbonate Proposition

With a schedule full of midterms and project deadlines, we are still struggling to finish our one to six scale model. Some of the strips of triangles became mismatched during fabrication causing us to have to re-cut them. However, we are acquiring all of the materials that we will need to build our full scale prototype. Today Eugene, who is in charge of finances and logistics, collected money from each of us so that he could purchase .25” corrugated polycarbonate sheets, 2x4s, .75” plywood, .125” sheets of metal, .375” vinyl tubing, .375” drill bits, and tarps. Because the sheets of polycarbonate were 4’ x 28’, we also had to rent a U-Haul to transport our material. Graham and Eugene drove the material back to campus, and after setting up tarps outside the woodshop, we covered our materials with the tarp to ensure that it would stay in pristine condition overnight. Krithika, as polycarbonate team leader, scheduled times for each of us to work and developed a procedure to process the polycarbonate: first, we plotted our unfolded design and labeled all the pieces with sharpie to ensure that they would not become scrambled as they did in the one to six scale model. Our design is symmetrical in one axis so each triangle was arranged in a parallelogram with its mirror right next to it to ensure quicker cutting. Second, we cut these parallelograms out of the plot. Each of these paper shapes was then blue taped to the polycarbonate aligning the edge of the paper to the grain of the plastic. Then using a jigsaw we cut the polycarbonate into manageable strips so that each of the individual triangles could be cut on the band saw. We are in the middle of fabrication and hope to have assembled a section of the full scale prototype for Wednesday so that we can make sure all of our processes are correct. On to polycarb!


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